The Beauty Bargain | Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser

IMG_8849There might not be much heard about the Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser ($9-10 CDN) but it’s been out for years and years and despite its rather boring appearance and general absence of hype, it’s kind of a lifesaver and one of those unsung heroes of the budget beauty department. It’s a gentle, soothing cleanser that I’m tempted to compare to Cetaphil but in my estimation, it has a much creamier texture and blows Cetaphil out of the water. In other words, it’s not a particularly exciting product but I’m not of the belief that cleansers should be – it’s good to look for cleansers that have the gentlest formulas and work effectively without stripping the skin or irritating it in the slightest, especially when you have irritation prone skin as I do.

While the emollients and the general soap-free cleansing agents in the formula will remove makeup to some extent, particularly when light makeup is involved, I tend to stick to using it as a morning cleanser or as a second cleanse after using my main makeup remover at nighttime. This might have something to do with the fact that I find that makeup clings to my face like glue and I seem to need to use heavy duty oil removers for the more benign formulas, though, so I wouldn’t necessarily be dissuaded by its limited makeup removal abilities – it just isn’t the best makeup remover in existence.

Now that I’m working on my second bottle of this lotion cleanser, I definitely do stand by my original assessment that this soap and fragrance free formula is the gentlest that I’ve ever tried, and the only formula that does not make my skin tingle, burn and redden when it’s at its most fragile state. Not only is the cleanser gentle, it also moisturizes the skin after removal with its lotion formula and inclusion of anti-irritants, chamomile and vitamin e. Even on my skin that has a tendency to get rather dry and irritated, this cleanser leaves a comfortable feeling after being rinsed away.

This cleanser is quite simply the best for irritated and drier skin and I would recommend it to anyone unless you’re very oily or relish the uber-cleansed feelings that more lightweight gel cleansers leave behind. It’s amazing and one of my few skincare repurchases.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Isohexadecane, Tea-Cocoyl Glutamate, Methylglucose Sesquistearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Bisabolol, Chamomile Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, BHT, Geranium, Dipropylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Methylparaben

Any beauty bargains to share?
Maggie, x.

Five of the Best Beauty Bargains

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Rather than introducing you to yet another affordable beauty product that I hold in high regard as of now, I thought that I would give a roundup of the affordable products that I’ve been relying on and valuing heavily at the moment. I can’t promise that what I say about these products and the products themselves won’t have appeared around here times before, however. Isn’t a little repetition a good thing?

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L’Oreal Glam Bronze Mono in 04 Universal Sun ($15 CDN)– full post here

I can’t even. Honestly this newer bronzer release has blown me away and I haven’t been able to stray from the smooth-textured blend able soft-matte bronzer for long since picking it up. The formula is pigmented but easy to work with and doesn’t sit on the skin stiffly and unnaturally like most powders do and rather glides on creamily. These come in a variety of shades but I’ve only tried this medium-toned warm bronzer with reddish undertones and I love the colour for adding natural bronziness to my face whilst being able to add a bit of shadow to the cheekbones because it’s not orange-y in the slightest. I swear this bronzer is easy to use and builds like a dream and will never betray you by looking chalky or muddy. I’ll stop now… You’re welcome.

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Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser ($9-11 CDN)

This is definitely one of the unsung heroes of my personal assortment of beauty products, both in the sense that I don’t feel that others rave about the prowess of the product enough and that I don’t give it the credit it deserves on a frequent basis. It’s basically the gentlest cream cleanser in existence that not only doesn’t include detergents and therefore doesn’t strip or irritate the skin but also nourishes the skin. It’s only downside is that it’s not one that removes makeup well in the slightest. However, it’s a great second cleanser or morning cleanser that easily rinses clean.

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Annabelle Smoothliner in Black ($6-7 CDN)

Even without putting the wallet-friendly price into consideration, this is among the very best liners that I’ve ever tried and it’s my favourite for using on the top waterline because it does not transfer to the lower lashline or budge. However, it’s not absolutely perfect because the creamy texture ensures that it needs to be sharpened frequently (if not, it comes out really unevenly) and therefore the product goes quickly. With this aside, the waterproof formula is creamy rather than waxy and stays put for ages. The shade is a richly pigmented black and it also can be smudged nicely as long as you work quickly. In short, I love this liner and will repurchase it after I use it up which shouldn’t be too far into the future.

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DSC_0205From the top: L’Oreal Universal Sun, Maybelline Deep Bronze, Maybelline Pink Rose

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Light-Boosting Blush/Bronzer in 20 Pink Rose/ 60 Deep Bronze ($14-16 CDN) full post here

I’ve raved about the Deep Bronze shade time and time again as a gorgeous rosy copper blush (rather than its intended use) and that love has not wavered in the slightest and since having such success with that shade, I picked up the true rosy pink shade (Pink Rose) and have been enjoying that shade as well. They’re not the cheapest but the texture and formula of these powders is so gorgeous that they are truly a bargain; the shimmer is so fine that it reads like a glowy sheen, the pigmentation is on-point and lasts as such and they blend seamlessly into the skin like the most finely-milled of products. I highly recommend trying at least one of these.

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Rimmel Colour Rush Intense Colour Balm in Lady Marmalade ($7-8 CDN)

This is definitely the newest product (to me) of the bunch but I’ve worn it a good amount and it has been so impressive; it may just be my favourite of the balm pencils, at the drugstore at least. The true pinky-coral hue doesn’t lean so warm that it tends to pull out the yellow in the teeth and goes over dry patches like a champ, actually hydrating along the way with the balm quality but it also served so stain my lips after wearing it for an hour or two — the colour lasted for six hours through a snack and a small meal. It seems to both be comfortable to wear and effortless while still providing on the longevity front, at least if you leave it on the lips for long enough to set.

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What’s your favourite budget buy at the moment?
Maggie, x.

Rediscovered Loves

DSC_1002 I would say that I’ve put myself on a no-buy but I’m self-aware enough to know that the moment I would make such a statement, the commitment would be destined to become broken as I’m sure I will find something that I can’t endure being without, so instead I’m committing to a low-buy instead. In thinking and doing this wholeheartedly I’ve also pulled some products out that I already own and have loved in the past to stop myself from yearning after the next shiny object and here’s the lowdown…

Rimmel London Wake Me Up Foundation (Ivory): This had to be the standout product find of 2013 and I don’t take such declarations lightly but during the spring I fell out of love with it as I found that it was not the most flattering foundation on my inflamed raised blemishes (on account of the subtle shimmer in the formula). However, unless things are looking particularly catastrophic in that department, this one has proven itself to me again as ideal. My skin agrees with the formulation itself and it’s one that consistently looks good without requiring loads of work, being flattering over dry matches and even more-so on over areas of dehydration while looking like skin and leaving a finish that sits somewhere in between satiny and truly glowy.

Benefit Boxed Powder in Rockateur: Being as much of a blush hoarder as I am, the fact that I had been neglecting this one isn’t entirely shocking in itself, considering that the sheeny rusty-rosy shade tends to be categorized as a typical fall/winter shade. However considering that I detest complete adherence to those sort of rules and that I consider this shade to be in my top three of all time, I should have known better than to neglect it. As I’ve dug it out again, I can barely put it down as it adds that subtle but brightening flush to the cheeks that differs from the usual summery corals without going into that wintry berry territory; it’s seasonless and absolutely stunning.

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner (Blackest Black): I’ve liked this gel liner for ages but have always gone for the fuss-free L’Oreal Lineur Intense over this one when I’m looking for something inky and precise for its ease and time-efficiency but now that I made the effort to actually clean the brush I use with this one and have dug it out again, I’ve been loving the precision and versatility that it offers. My only issue is that it’s difficult to form precise wings with the brush in comparison to felt-tip liners and that it requires a few more minutes as opposed to the 30 seconds each eye requires when I go for the liquid option.

Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser: I raved about this one loads last year but after I finished it up, I decided to try their newer similar Ultra Gentle offering and I’m still not through that one; however, there was a sale on so I couldn’t resist picking this one up at an affordable price and I’ve been naughty and have begun to use it without finishing up the other one first. It’s an absolute failure in terms of removing makeup but the nourishing creamy cleanser is the gentlest thing on the skin and actually somehow leaves it more hydrated than before without the addition of any harsh ingredients (i.e. fragrance). Plus, it leaves the skin soothed afterwards but doesn’t require a cloth or any sort of process of removal. This is my perfect morning cleanser, I must say!

Have you made any recent beauty rediscoveries? Happy Sunday — the apocalypse has not come upon us, I’m trying out my Weekly Medley post on Monday for an experiment.
Maggie, x.